Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography
Tonight, despite an improved effort from the Northeast Generals, they came up on the short end of a 1-0 overtime loss to the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. Haas had a shutout until overtime, and came up on the short end of a goaltending duel despite playing with the consistency and effort that has helped steady the Northeast Generals in net throughtout this tumultuous season marred by a global pandemic.
On the evening , the Generals played well, despite not finding the back of the net. For most of the game, Head Coach Bryan Erikson said” I liked our effort in the first 50 minutes. I thought we did a good job controlling the game, controlling the forecheck and getting pucks in deep. We didn’t do a great job of getting traffic but credit to their goalie who played very well and earned the shut out.”
On Hugo’s effort he added “Hugo was amazing as usual. Didn’t get tested a lot but made big saves when he needed to. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t bury our chances to get him a shut out but those are the breaks.”
Tonight the Generals had a different lineup which featured Aidan Flynn. The forward has not gotten as many looks as some of his colleagues but did not disapoint tonight. Erikson said ” Flynn is the best. Just shows up everyday to work very hard. Does all the extra stuff. Very simple player that makes simple, smart plays. Loved the effort and compete level. Great kid who is a good piece for us next year.”
On the lineup changes, Erikson added ” Lineup changes are only dictated by the fact that we have 6 games in 8 days now 3 in 4 days. Need to get everybody in and try to keep guys fresh. Don’t want unnecessary injuries. Will be the same tomorrow. Will have a few guys out and the guys that were out back in.”
Going into tomorro night, Generals fans, and Bruins fans will get a glimpse of the future. Jake Essensa will get the start in net. He will be making his NAHL debut in net, and has experience around the goaltending position. His father, Bob, played over a decade in the NHL as a goaltender, and now is the goaltending coach for the Boston Bruins.
Erikson gave a good scouting report on Jake saying ” Jake will have to adjust to the speed of the game. He had an outstanding year for Eric Progen with our U18 team (Progen leads the Under 18 team, and is part of Erikson’s coaching staff) and practiced with the NA team all year. He knows the guys, the guys know him and respect him as a goalie. He just needs to get that first save and get the jitters out. He works so hard and is a very good goalie.” Look for the Generals to come out fast tomorrow. They generated some good looks tonight but could not get anything into the net. They have one more home game in a season full of tumult, and one destined to leave a mark not only for the veterans playing in their final junior hockey games, but for the returners like Flynn and Essensa, looking to build on the legacy of determination and persistence that has become a hallmark of of the class of Generals playing their final three games before moving onto college hockey.
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